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Everglades Winter Mix.

Capt. Charles Wright
December 11, 2008
Everglades City - Saltwater Fishing Report

January does bring about change in Everglades National Park. The plentiful bait fish of November and December thin out dramatically. However, most all of the near shore structure still has plenty baitfish … and their predators.

I like to sight fish in the shallows these months. Seeing your fish, sneaking up to it and watching the fish eat your bait is a real blast!!. As the water cools, the plankton and algae life dwindle so the water real clears up. Sight fishing becomes more and more attractive to we light tackle advocates. In the cooler times, the fish will "lay up" in the shallow sun washed, water. These shallows warm up first with the rising sun, so the fish are there warming up also. Sight fishing these laid up fish is something every fisherman should experience. It takes a bit more skill and finesse, but the rewards are great.

For those that are looking for something different, Each Saturday, in addition to our traditional fishing trips, we will be doing kayak fishing day trips in the Yak Attack. As well, a three day; two night fishing/camping trip in the Park that leaves most every Friday morning. This is one of the best values for fishing that you can find … three days of guided fishing, two nights lodging and three days of fine eats for $750 per person. These trips are what several of our guests have called "glamour camping" … bonfires, stone crabs, homemade conch chowder, fresh fish, individual tents, six-inch thick air mattresses … pretty "cushy". Fish all day and all night, if you choose … or not.

The kayak is perhaps the most effective way to get to this shallow laid up fish. It is virtually silent, draws but a few inches of water and is very maneuverable. The tarpon actually seem to like the sound of the yaks in the waters. However, when a big fish rolls right beside you, it can be spooky.

Capt. Charles Wright

Everglades City Fishing Forecast:

Snook Season opens again in January (as does speckled trout). However, most of the fish this time of year are significantly smaller than in the warmer months. The largest fish are usually sight-fished in the shallows with fly or very light spinning tackle… Stealth, stealth, stealth. However, you can expect good numbers of fish in the back country plugging the shorelines.

Redfish are plentiful being less tolerate to the cold. Though not in numbers that you will find in the fall. Redfish like something stinky as they seem to have more nose than eyes. I still will be sight-fishing, however.

Tarpon are tough in January and February. The cooler water forces the youngsters deep into the back waters … so deep that the only practical way to get this them is with a kayak canoe. The bigger fish are offshore hanging around structure and "live bottom". They can be fished and caught regularly, but for me at least, only on live bait. They tend to be pretty far offshore, so weather can be a problem. However, the last four years, the last two weeks of February I have found full-grown laid up fish … fish that eat. I am still not sure if they really show up that early regularly, or if this is just an anomaly. I have only fished them this early recently. I will let you know more next issue.

Permit have for the most part moved South … at least the school fish. The very large, resident fish are still here and can be targeted. On those very special days of a slick calm Gulf, look for them sunning on the surface. Approach from very far away with a ridiculously long cast … pole or use a trolling motor. You are wasting your time with the main engine.

Speckled Trout are here in numbers and the season opens New Years Day… rising tide, jigs, clausers minnows … catch all you can stand.

Cobia … Tough to find during January and February except on the deepest of structure in the area. The water temperature gets too cold and they head South. You should have been here in November and December!

Black Drum in massive schools are in the back country. Finding them is the key. Once you find them they will likely be neat the same place for a while. Fish slow. When you think you are fishing slow enough, slow it up more!

Snappers … lots … live shrimp under the mangroves/

Gag Grouper … While not known as a grouper fishery, we certainly good be during January and February. Moving water, big baits and patience. Find one and you'll have a spot for two months if you are not greedy. Rattle-traps work great,.

Sheep head … On every oyster bar.

Action Fish … Jacks, lady fish, Spanish mackerel and bluefish … catch them until you are tired … once you locate them

Call us to Plan Your Next Adventure!

Capt. Charles Wright

Target Species:

Snook ,Tarpon, Redfish, Permit, Cobia, Speckled Trout

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Chokoloskee Charters.com and Everglades Kayak Fishing.com is your complete outfitter for fishing Everglades National Park. Fish the Everglades backcountry, the beaches, 10,000 islands, river and wrecks with the most experienced guides in the area. With flats boats, bays boats, offshore boats and even kayak transport boats for our fleet of outfitted fishing kayaks, we can offer a complete, multi-day, fishing experience. Capt. Charles Wright - Fishing the Park Since 1972 Catch the Experience

Contact Info:

Chokoloskee Charters
PO Box 670
Everglades City, FL 34139
Phone: 239-695-9107
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